If you’re fortunate enough in business to be a market leader, or to be enjoying a decent amount of success with customers aplenty and solid market share, then it’s unlikely you’re spending your days plotting aggressive marketing moves to take on big competitors. But that doesn’t mean you should be ignoring the other players in your market. Don’t relax and get complacent.
The fact is, if you’re enjoying a healthy slice of success, then you’re a potential target for challenger companies. Your success proves the potential of the market and your strategy and that can be very attractive to other businesses. You might not be devising attack strategies all day long, but it’s likely your competitors are. So be ready. This is where defense strategies come in.
For every Attack Strategy there is a defense strategy you can adopt to combat the advance and maintain your market position. In this article we’re going to look at one such defense strategy, namely the Mobile Defense Strategy.
What is a Mobile Defense Strategy?
A mobile defense strategy in business is an approach companies can take to ward off competition by continuously changing and altering their activities. This strategy requires frequent diversification and broadening – whether with new products, new markets, or both – to constantly keep moving and make it hard to compete against.
With a Mobile Defense Strategy you are trying to remain competitor-less, having no obvious company who is competing directly with you and emulating what you do. By constantly diversifying, extending and broadening you are hoping to discourage other businesses from attacking you. The continual changes will make it very hard for a competitor to predict what you are going to do and do it first. You will be making it near-impossible for a competitor to work out what your strategy is and emulate it. If you never stand still it’s hard for anyone to get a proper look at you!
A Mobile Defense Strategy is about appearing fast and agile, and therefore not being seen as an attractive victim for any attacker. Would you try and catch someone who was running about in all different directions?! You’d probably leave them alone and go after someone predictable, running gently down a clear, straight path (please note, we are not advocating chasing after people in the street 😉).
How Do You Execute a Mobile Defense Strategy?
It’s fair to say that a Mobile Defense Strategy is one of the hardest ways to defend against attacks from competitors. You will need to have a very well-oiled process by which you identify and assess new opportunities and then be able to execute very quickly and efficiently.
Options for broadening your activities or diversifying what you do will include:
- Entering new geographic markets with your existing product or service
- Releasing new products for your existing market
- Selling your existing products to new customer types
- Significantly changing your existing product or service
- Creating entirely new products or services for entirely new markets
What Are the Pros of a Mobile Defense Strategy?
The Mobile Defense Strategy is just one a number of different defense options if you’re feeling vulnerable to a competitor attack. So what are the particular advantages of this strategy over the others?
- If you can smoothly and successfully diversify regularly, you’ll no doubt have a very exciting working environment, one which is highly innovative and entrepreneurial
- Making headway into new markets opens up the opportunity for you to launch your own attack strategy
- You’ll be spreading your activities and reliance on one product or market, potentially reducing risk
What Are the Cons of a Mobile Defense Strategy?
We’ve already mentioned that this particular defense strategy isn’t the easiest to pull off. But what other disadvantages should you be aware of before embarking on your Mobile Defense Strategy?
- It can be extremely expensive and labor-intensive to constantly be changing up what you do
- You might end up damaging your success in one market by diverting time and attention to other products or markets
- You are introducing the risk of pursuing the wrong opportunities and damaging your growth
- Managing change within a business is always tough and you might find the constant change is too much for some people. This might impact employee retention and create a challenging culture
- You might damage customer perception and start to be seen as a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’
- It can be exhausting!
What Other Defense Strategies Are There?
If you don’t like the sound of a Mobile Defense Strategy, don’t worry, you have other options.
Pre-emptive Defense Strategy
This is where a company launches its own attack before a competitor is able to launch theirs.
This approach is comparable to the Pre-emptive Defense Strategy, however with a Counter-Offensive you do not launch an attack until your competitor has made the first move. Then it’s all guns blazing in retaliation!
Flanking Defense Strategy
Here you are pre-emptively identifying the weaker areas of your business and investing time and money to sure them up so they can withstand a Flanking Attack from a competitor.
Position Defense Strategy
With a Position Defense Strategy you put your efforts into your brand perception and focus on winning the hearts and minds of your customers to ensure you have a really strong place in the mind of your audience, a stronghold that would withstand an attack.
As the names suggests, this is a full retreat from the fight! Throwing your hands up in surrender and leaving the market. You might decide your efforts are better spent elsewhere and exit this fight so you can focus on another. After all, saying no can often be a very smart strategic decision!
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